Vail Daily letter: What good news?
The Feb. 5th Vail Daily had one of those Hits and Misses columns. One item gave a miss to the “American right” for being negative about “each bit of good news about the economy now.” The unnamed author did not provide any examples of this good news.
How about the piece on Page A23 of that edition, where there was a story about how President Obama’s recently issued budget relies on accounting tricks to make it appear less aggravating to the budget deficit? What good news can the Daily point to about the federal debt, which keeps increasing? When and how will it get reduced?
Can the Daily provide any good news about the predicted insolvencies of Social Security and Medicare?
Jim Clifton is the Gallup CEO. On Feb. 5, he issued a statement about the reported 5.8 percent unemployment rate. He called it “misleading”; by his measure, it’s more like 10 percent. Because official reports about unemployment only count people who are looking for jobs; they ignore all those who have dropped out of the job market. Clifton says we lost 13 million jobs in the recession, and have only gotten 3 million back. Put him down as just another nattering nabob of negativism.
How about the stock market? It’s been generally higher lately. It also looked pretty good in the spring of 1929. It’s been propped up by the Federal Reserve’s easy money, low interest policy, that was part of the recession recovery plan. If we’ve recovered, why is it still in place?
How much interest can you get on a savings account or CD these days? The new Federal Reserve chair, Janet Yellen, has promised that interest rates will be raised, but doesn’t say exactly when. If it ever starts, the stock market will cool down.
The basic problem is that the federal government is spending more than it takes in and incurring unfunded obligations beyond that, with no rational plan about how all this will be paid for. Like the president’s scheme for free community colleges. Tap the rich people and corporations some more. That’ll cover it.